Argentina’s Hard-Working Backroom Staff

On its second day of work on Australian soil, the Argentine rugby team held a training triple shift, which was divided into two sessions, using the morning and evening.  The morning session was on the court at St Joseph’s College and was focused on attacking, skills and defensive organisation.  Meanwhile, in the afternoon, divided into forwards and backs, the players spent time int he gym.

José Pellicena and Germán Fernández are part of the technical staff headed by Daniel Hourcade.  Both coaches enjoy the use of rods, tackle bags and shields, and to chart each day differently in terms of exercises to various skills testing.  Fernandez says:  ‘We seek to work with the players in those areas which we believe are failing, and ultimately threaten the smooth running of the game plan that we want to accomplish.  In every game or training we identify the mistakes made, and on that basis adapt the exercises, with the aim of this technical gesture that is perhaps going the wrong way, it is corrected (sic).’  Member of the technical staff of ICBC Pampas XV that was playing and training with the Waratahs, Pellicena recognises the importance of interacting with other coaches and their methodologies.

Pellicena says:  ‘I think it’s great that we can share workouts with professional equipment and that there is exchange of information in both directions.  Today we have a way of working in which we seek to give a lot of dynamics to training, and in part acquired from what we saw during our visits.’  When comparing the workout performed by Los Pumas, with the other powers, Cochi, as it is known in the group, leaves no doubt where they spend the differences. Pellicena says:  ‘The workouts the other teams use are similar.  Maybe they work from an early age on certain movements and it allows them to focus on other issues.  We work increasingly in the details that will allow us then to polish the finer mistakes.’

The work of coaches is not limited to the time they are in training.  Time is spent on off the field work too.  It is there, when gathered in a room with computer and projector, the positive aspects and improvement areas are detected, then layed out to be performed the next day.

Fernandez says:  ‘Although each coach has put the focus on a specific part of the game, we all work together.  These days we are looking to create high intensity for each exercise, regardless of whether it is a day of low or high intensity.  Recovery times are going to be changing, but at the time of performing an exercise, each player must give their best potential.’  Wednesday will be a rest day and on Thursday the squad will return to training.  It will be time then for both coaches, along with the rest of the staff, to keep coming up with fresh exercise ideas, with the intention to continue to help improve the skills of each player, and thus help correct the errors detected in the decisive plays.

Photo credit: Sebastian Giunta – U.A.R